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Gia Giudice received acceptance letters for numerous colleges, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey daughter will soon be leaving home to head to Rutgers. (ICYMI, Teresa Giudice shared the first letter from Quinnipiac University, then University of Alabama, Penn State, and The University of Scranton soon followed.) It's sure gonna be hard for Teresa to see her eldest daughter go ... even if she's ultimately only going 45 minutes away.
Just ask The Real Housewives of New York City mom Ramona Singer, who watched her daughter Avery head off to The University of Virginia (she's since graduated), or Dorinda Medley, who was proud but hearbroken when daughter Hannah Lynch went off to Columbia University. This past summer, Kyle Richards' 18-year-old daughter Sophia Umansky was off to college in Washington, D.C.
It can be bittersweet seeing your grown child head off to college; they're now an adult, and if you're lucky, they won't be back home for long post-college. Although millennials don't really follow those rules, moving back home to save money after school.
Author Lyss Stern, mom of three and CEO of Divamoms, has lots of friends that have already said goodbye to their college-bound kids and will be embarking on this journey herself as well. "This past week has been a big one for parents all around the country getting acceptance letters to colleges," Stern says. "It can be a very emotional time for both the parents and the kids. I remember when my parents dropped me off at college (many years ago in 1992 to be exact). I went to Syracuse University, and my mom kept her tears inside until after the drove away. I remember giving them one last hug and my mom put on her sunglasses and my dad drove away down the hill. I know she didn't want me to see her tears, little did she know I had my own set of tears to shed. As much as I was excited to be a freshman, I was also terribly scared and nervous inside."
Stern says parents (of course) are going to have many mixed emotions for their children as they get ready to head off to their first semester away. "Some tips that I have learned from my friends with college-bound kids and that I will try to implement when my son goes off to college in a few years are one, don't be a helicopter parent — you have to give your children freedom and let them fly. Of course you can call and text to check in, but don't be that annoying parent! You want the kids to feel that they are being trusted. Perhaps before they leave talk about finding a time set aside each week where you can both catch up. Learn to give the kids their space. It's going to be hard and challenging but you have to do it."
"Also, don't put extreme pressure on your kids to get straight A's the first semester. Remember this is entirely all new for them and you want them to find their new friends, get used to classes, professors, schedules, finding their way around campus and more."
Stern adds that if you do find yourself missing your kids terribly, which of course is all very normal, try and do something to keep your mind off of thinking about what they are doing every minute. "Perhaps now is the time to find a new hobby, call and meet up with someone you haven't seen or spoken to in a while. Spend time with your significant other," she says.
Therapist Jason Eric Ross advises the following:
"Remember, it's their moment to shine, and we should keep it that way and send them off with momentum, praise and positive energy. Second, know what to and what not to say. You want your child looking forwards not backwards. I have heard parents who will tell a child 'I can't believe you are leaving me!' and 'What am I going to do without you?' etc. You can you get emotional, but do you understand what you're emotional about? A healthy parent tells a child 'I am proud of you, I'm going to miss you and I am so happy you will have this opportunity!' It sends the right message."
Credit: Teresa Guidice/Instagram
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